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Paraplegic drug suspect rejects plea offer

LOCKPORT – Frank D. Murphy, a wheelchair-bound man accused of selling crack cocaine and possessing an illegal handgun in Niagara Falls last summer, rejected a plea offer Monday in Niagara County Court.

Murphy, 29, of Walnut Avenue in the Falls, turned down a plea to attempted second-degree criminal possession of a weapon after County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas promised him the minimum sentence of three years in prison.

Murphy, a paraplegic who has a previous felony conviction in Ohio, was arrested July 23 after police checked out a tip about a man selling drugs from a wheelchair on Ferry Avenue in the Falls. He allegedly dropped the gun during a brief chase in the chair, and police said they found a bag of crack in Murphy’s lap.

He is scheduled to go to trial Monday, even though Murphy said he wants to hire a private attorney to replace court-appointed counsel David Mansour. Farkas warned Murphy that she will not postpone the trial because of any change in lawyers.